Refection on Informative Speech on Marilyn Monroe

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According to Brandon Gaille, “Of all the phobias out there, public speaking is considered the highest. It affects 3 out of 4 people or 75% of individuals suffer from speech anxiety” (Gaille, 2017). It may not have seemed like it but I, along with many others, suffer from speech anxiety. If I would have been able to overcome my anxiety sooner, I may have gotten a better score. When giving my speech there were many strong points regarding the content, organization, and delivery, but in each of these areas, there is room for improvement.

Content is the most important part of the speech; it is the reason a person is talking to an audience. Marilyn Monroe and the conspiracy around her death have always fascinated me. It is why I decided to pick it for my speech in addition to sharing it with the class. As stated by Presentation Studio, “Good content will explain and educate your audience about your product or service and give the audience a message they will remember” (Presentation Studio, 2015).

Informative speeches have two main functions, the first is to raise awareness of the topic and the second is an in-depth explanation of the topic. I believe I accomplished both of those when giving my speech. I had great content and it covered all areas of my topic. I went over her life, career, death, and the suspicion around her death. It left the audience with something to think about “Was Marilyn Monroe possibly murdered?”, as well as a short outline of her life and death. I felt it was important to talk about her because she may have died over 50 years ago, but she is still talked about and seen in today’s world. Also, she was the most desired woman of the time and is still known as one of the world's biggest and most enduring sex symbols.

With everything, I could have improved upon content by adding more detail, specifically with suspicions around Marilyn Monroe’s death. With the time required being four to six minutes the amount of detail I could go into was limited. Overall, I feel did a great job with the amount of detail and content I put into my speech as well as informed the audience thoroughly.

The organization is another key part of giving a speech. According to Steven McCornack who wrote Choices & Connections “For your audience to follow the development of your speech thesis, you need to arrange your main points into a logical pattern” (McCornack, 2017, pg. 357) I chose to use the topical pattern so I could organize the information into categories and subcategories. I made sure to keep the order logical and had it support my thesis statement. The three categories I organized the information into were life and career, death, and suspicions about her death.

As stated by Steven McCornack, “Once you have arranged your main points in an organizational pattern, think about how connectives – words and phrases that link your ideas together – will help you move from one idea to the next” (McCornack, 2017, pg. 359). When going over my speech before class I had transitions and connections built into my speech but being nervous, I speed up and my transitions got lost. This is a big concern for future speeches because transitions “help your audience accurately receive and understand your speech because they show how your ideas are related” (McCornack, 2017, pg. 359). Without transitions and making connections in my speech, the audience could have become confused and lost interest. In future speeches to avoid this from happening I will make my transitions clear and prepare carefully.

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The speed at which I talked during my speech was very fast and rapid. This could have led to the audience getting lost, missing information, or stopping listening altogether. In agreement with Steven McCornack, “If you speak too rapidly, your listeners may miss something or feel exhausted trying to keep up. But if you speak too slowly, your audience’s attention can begin to wander” (McCornack, 2017, pg. 385) Vocal rate is like a double-edged sword, a speaker can not go too fast or slow. Speech anxiety also plays a role in vocal rate because if a person is nervous, they tend to talk at a faster rate. That was the problem I ran into when doing my speech, it then caused other issues to happen. As I mentioned above preparing carefully and going over my speech multiple times will help eliminate anxiety and stress. This will then lead to me not speeding up and feeling comfortable in front of the class.

Going along with the vocal rate is a conversational tone. As laid out by the book Choices & Connections, “a conversational tone is similar to a casual conversation; it uses a natural, spoken language style rather than a formal, written language style, and the speaker exudes emotional and passion for the topic” (McCornack, 2017, pg. 383). This is very important in any speech a person gives. It is a good way to connect with the audience and keep them engaged and attentive. I feel I had this throughout my speech largely because I enjoyed talking about my topic and I knew the material.

Lastly, this leads to speech delivery, there are three primary modes of delivery: impromptu, manuscript, and extemporaneous. For this speech we used extemporaneous which “includes elements of both manuscript and impromptu speaking. The resulting speech sounds more conversational than it would if you read from or memorized a manuscript” (McCornack, 2017, pg. 383). A well-prepared speech and delivery outline allow a person to focus on eye contact, gestures, ways to engage and connect to the audience, and so on.

Eye contact is a big part of giving a speech and can make the listener feel engaged in the speech. As claimed by Mike Michalowicz from American Express, “Eye contact is powerful. Your audience is made up of individuals, and you should make an effort to make eye contact with each of them. Eye contact makes a person feel personally engaged in a speech, and engaged listeners are much more likely to be persuaded” (Michalowicz, 2014). In my speech I struggled with eye contact, I tended to look at a specific area of the room instead of looking at everyone. I believe this was due to being nervous and I felt more comfortable not looking around the room. Over time I know my anxiety and nervousness will lessen and my eye contact along with other areas of my speech will improve.

Facial expressions are another important form of delivery. Through a person’s facial expressions, you can tell how strongly they feel about the message they are giving. When watching my speech over and looking at the comments given, I noticed that I smiled a lot and people were saying it seemed like I knew my topic and enjoyed talking about it. This is very true this proves that just by a person’s facial expressions the audience knows how you feel about the topic. They also help the audience to stay more engaged and interested in the topic.

Finally gestures and posture, “reveal the intensity of your involvement with your topic and thus affect the degree of immediacy your audience feels” (McCornack, 2017, pg.386). Similar to facial expressions this will also keep an audience engaged and show how involved a person is with the topic they are talking about. Whenever someone talks, they are of course going to use gestures but when a person gets nervous, they use adaptive gestures. Examples of these are fidgeting, twirling hair, swaying back and forth, etc. I noticed after watching my speech back I was doing some of these. I used my hands a lot which may have been distracting to the audience as well as swayed back and forth. I know this all comes back to speech anxiety and being nervous.

The common theme throughout has been speech anxiety and being nervous. A lot of the small mistakes I made while giving my speech all come back to it. There are multiple ways to overcome speech anxiety and improve my next speech. These include: acknowledging the fear, acting confident, preparing carefully and well, and channeling nervous energy. Keeping these in mind as well as picking engaging topics I find interesting I know I can improve upon my next speech score and continue to do well in class.

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Refection on Informative Speech on Marilyn Monroe. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Refection on Informative Speech on Marilyn Monroe.” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023,
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